Victoria, B.C. – People of all ages packed Douglas Street this morning to enjoy the Island Farms Victoria Day parade.
The American marching bands were a big hit as they are every year, with the high school students playing and dancing for the crowd.
“They’re my favourite,” said 86-year-old Richard Begg, tapping his toes and snapping his fingers. The senior hasn’t missed a parade in the eight years he’s lived at John Alfred Manor on Douglas Street, and has a prize seat every year.
“I just go down the elevator.”
It’s not quite as easy for others, and some avid parade goers plan their strategy to get a premiere spot.Last year, Cynthia Johnson saw people parking their vehicles on side street, backing up to Douglas and opening up the back of their SUVs for a spot to sit. Her family did the same this year, giving Johnson the perfect perch to cheer on the parade.
Johnson clapped and shouted out encouragement to the people in the parade, and soon others around her were doing the same.
“I want to show appreciation for the people who participate and cheering makes it a lot more fun for people,” she said. “If you walk up and down the street, the people having the most fun are the ones cheering.”
The 30-year-old likes the feeling of community parades bring out in people, something that can be lacking in day-to-day life.
“It is a time when people come together.”
Many families had three generations watching the parade together, sitting on deck chairs and snacking on picnics made specially for the occasion.
Some floats were elaborate concoctions, while other entries were as simple as a girl walking with her dog, balloons on the dog’s collar.
It’s a chance for community groups to strut their stuff too.
“I didn’t know the Shriners still existed,” said a woman as the fez-wearing group marched by.
The entrants are judged in several categories, with results expected early this afternoon.
Thousands of people lined downtown Victoria streets today as the city’s largest parade made its way from Mayfair Mall down Douglas Street.
The annual Island Farms Victoria Day Parade featured more than 100 entries including local and American high school bnads, floats, clowns and dancing groups.
Now in its 112th year, the parade draws more than 100,000 viewers live and on television. The parade is being broadcast on CHEK-TV.
The parade features 23 marching bands from the U.S., seven more than last year. There will be 127 parade entries in total, including a delegation from Marioka, Japan.
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